Fat Louis -Politicians never learn.
An Odd Thought
By Fat Louis
Politicians never learn. One group gets turfed for behind closed-door meetings and now the very next group is putting out redacted documents. ‘Redacted,’ for those not familiar with government speak, means blacked out. Essentially some busybody (usually a lawyer) goes through the document with a marker and crosses out words, lines, and even whole sectionsall in the name of ‘national security.’ Except here there’s no secrets in need of protecting. In fact it’s only the parts that make the government look corrupt and incompetent that got covered up. And that’s what the people of Sudbury have on their hands…a cover-up.
The whole Sudbury Transit Scandal is a farce. Or it would be if it didn’t cost so much. $500,000 is what the taxpayers are out, $500,000 that ended up in somebody’s bank account, $500,000 that was, essentially, stolen!
But that’s okay. At least according to Mayor Brian Bigger. The city commissioned a $50,000 study and it has confirmed no ‘criminality’ occurred. That’s the end of it. The mayor refuses to talk about it any more. As far as he’s concerned all the questions have been answered, changes have been made in how the city operates, and the mistakes of the past will not be repeated. But there is one question no one knows the answer to: Where the HELL is our money?!
It doesn’t matter where it ended up or how it got there. That money NEEDS to be paid back. Only in Sudbury would government officials shrug their shoulders and say, “Oh well.” Can you imagine a bank mistakenly paying out hundreds of thousands and not getting it back? Of course not. Because it would never happen.
Blaming a ‘loss of control, accountability, training, and leadership’ the study, conducted by Investigative Solutions Network Inc. (a southern Ontario companybecause no one in the north can add apparently?), comes down firmly behind the government position. Siding with the people who paid the bill? That’s not suspicious at all. And speaking of suspicious, what’s with the name of the company behind the scandal? 1211250 Ontario Inc. That’s a trustworthy sign, eh? Letting a business with no name, just a number, handle our money…smart.
The government would like you to think the Transit Scandal is some complicated ordeal beyond the general public’s understanding. It isn’t. Put simply the city signed a bad contractone with an optional extensionand then stupidly (some would argue ‘criminally’) used that option. This despite the fact that the company, 1211250 Ontario Inc., failed to perform ‘adequately.’ Then, one day, the ticket kiosk in question didn’t open. The city discovered it was owed over $800,000 and 1211250 Ontario Inc. was nowhere to be found.
Eventually some money was recovered, but less than half. What’s most appalling is that the city knows the name of the person behind the numbered company but refuses to go after him to recoup the rest. Our previous council held a closed-door meeting and approved funding a forensic audit. No audit was done (no word if the auditing company got paid). Other steps were mishandled: city staff were blamed and people got ‘spoken to’! Spoken to…that’s how you discipline a six-year old for breaking a lamp not how you investigate a half-million dollar fraud!
And now we have the final report. Or at least the parts we’re allowed to see. It’s clear that somebody is hiding something! Our Mayor has failed to get to the bottom of the issue, worse he’s refusing to share the truth with us. The city is out more than $500,000 and nobody’s talking. It stinks. Stinks of the same secretive business that brought down our last council. Our current mayor and council need to rethink their attitude before they get booted from office too. Tell the truth. Tell it all. And get our money back. This issue is NOT over. It won’t be until every ill-gotten penny is returned!